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Tina Fey's Aha! Moment


Tina Fey's Aha! Moment
When we heard that Tina Fey was the co-host of this year's Golden Globes, we remembered this advice from the writer-comedian on all the fun that comes after one three-letter word.
Saturday Night Live Comedianne Tina Fey
Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

[In 1997], I moved from Chicago to New York to work at Saturday Night Live. I packed up and was going through my things to see what I would take with me and what I'd leave behind. I found an orange folder—a regular school folder—in a bookshelf. As soon as I saw it, I knew what it was. There were quotes written all over the front of it. Some of them were: "Greet everything with 'Yes, and... '" "Make statements instead of putting the burden on others with questions." "Stay in the present, as opposed to focusing on the past or future." "The fun is always on the other side of a yes." 

Years before, I was a student at Second City, an improvisational acting school in Chicago, and took a class with artistic director Martin de Maat. These quotes were some of the rules of improv he gave us. When I found the folder, I realized that taking that class had completely changed my life. It certainly sent me down a career path that I never would have ended up on otherwise. It also sent me down a personal path—my friends were all part of the improv community. My husband was a piano player at the ImprovOlympic, and we met there. All those rules and exercises defined us and our outlook on the world. 

The things I learned in that class became part of the way I live my life. A couple of times I've been called on to do things—jobs or whatever—where I've felt, Maybe I'm not quite ready. Maybe it's a little early for this to happen to me. But the rules are so ingrained. "Say yes, and you'll figure it out afterward" has helped me to be more adventurous. It has definitely helped me be less afraid. 

"We're offering you a job here at Saturday Night Live—can you move here within a week?" 

"Ummm, yes I can."

"You know, you haven't been here that long, but do you want to move up and try to be one of the head writers?"

Feeling completely terrified inside, but saying, "Uhhh, yes, okay, yes, for sure."

"Do you wanna do 'Weekend Update' with Jimmy?"

Petrified. "Yes, thank you, of course!"

There are limits of reason to this idea of saying yes to everything, but when I meet someone whose first instinct is "No, how can we do that? That doesn't seem possible," I'm always kind of taken aback. Almost anyone would say, "It's Friday at two in the morning. We don't have an opening political sketch. We can't do it." Yeah, of course you can. There's no choice. And even if you abandon one idea for another one, saying yes allows you to move forward. 

Sitting on the floor of my Chicago apartment, I realized that the words on the folder had a broader use than just for improvising comedy. Life is improvisation. All of those classes were like church to me. The training had seeped into me and changed who I am.

Read more http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Tina-Feys-AHA-Moment#ixzz2Jy2M54oq

18 Ways "To Be"


1. Be strong enough to face the world each day.

2. Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything.

3. Be generous to those who need your help.

4. Be frugal with what you need yourself.

5. Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.

6. Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.

7. Be willing to share your joys.

8. Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

9. Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.

10. Be a follower in the midst of uncertainty.

11. Be the first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.

12. Be the last to criticize a colleague who fails.

13. Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not stumble.

14. Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.

16. Be loving to those who love you.

17. Be loving to those who do not love you; they may learn to love because of you.

18. Be yourself.


Quotes For Writers...

From: http://rightwordwritetime.blogspot.com/

For those fellow writers out there...here are some inspirational quotes to keep you picking up your pens!
  • Don't get it right, get it written.
  • Show, don't tell.
  • Speak the truth, even if it is made up.
  • A writer is never not writing.
  • Writing is a joyful sickness.
  • One can be absolutely truthful and sincere even though admittedly the most outrageous liar. -- Henry Miller
  • I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. -- Walt Whitman (as quoted in Dead Poets Society)
  • There is always a sheet of paper. There is always a pen. There is always a way out. -- H.L. Mencken
  • Writing is all that matters to me. I dread emerging from it each day. -- Janet Frame
  • You are either born a writer or you are not. -- Cormac McCarthy
  • No iron can pierce the heart with such force as a period put just at the right place. -- Isaac Babel
  • Every great or even every very good writer makes the world over according to his own specifications. -- Raymond Chandler
  • I proved to my satisfaction that, like any other mortal, I too could write. -- Henry Miller (hopefully this is how I will feel November 30, as a winner. hopefully)
  • I elect something that I can love and absorb myself in it. -- Anais Nin (I do this too... I hope my momentum stays with me throughout the month)
  • Art is the writer not having control, but the subject having control of the writer. -- Paula Vogel
  • How can there be any surprises for the reader if there haven't been any for the writer? -- Flannery O'Conner
  • If you haven't surprised yourself, you haven't written. -- Eudora Welty
  • How can you write if you can't cry? -- Ring Lardner
  • Do not be afraid to write something! Tell the truth and tell it straight. -- Alicia Ostriker
  • The writer distorts reality in the interest of a larger truth. -- John L'Heureux
  • An author is a professional liar. -- Janet Burroway
  • Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx.
  • Writing is a delicious agony. -- Gwendolyn Brooks (God rest her soul... she died at the beginning of my Freshman year of college, and I found out, naturally, in an English class)
  • You write and then you erase. You call that a profession? -- father of author Saul Bellow
  • You are obviously a writer, which means the torture has just begun. -- Professor Wilder, Dawson's Creek
  • If you don't know what you're writing, no one else will. -- Vic Racine, My So-Called Life
  • Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. -- Henry Miller
  • A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one. -- Salada tea bag tag
  • Write what makes you happy. -- O. Henry
  • Me, fail English? That's unpossible! -- Ralph Wiggum
  • I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing. -- Anais Nin


I came accross this article in USA Today. Some of these are pretty dam funny. Makes me like Nicole Kidman more and more. LOL!

Straight from the celeb's mouth

Most celebrities are not known for their intellectual prowess, but they have provided words that wowed us, from insight or sheer audacity. The USA TODAY People staff picks some stunning sound bites from stars over the past 25 years.

USA TODAY reporting and writing by William Keck, Karen Thomas, Donna Freydkin, Andrea Mandell, Ann Oldenburg, Lorena Blas, Robyn Abzug and Susan O'Brian.

1. "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."

— Princess Diana, in a 1995 BBC interview, on her marriage to Prince Charles. They divorced in 1996, and she died a year later. The third party, Camilla Parker Bowles, became Charles’ wife in 2005.

2. "I’m tough. I’m ambitious. And I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, OK.”

— Madonna in People, July 27, 1992. It was a big year for her, with the movie A League of Their Own, her Sex book and her Erotica album.

3. “Why can’t you share your bed? The most loving thing to do is to share your bed with someone.”

— Michael Jackson, defending his practice of letting boys share his bed in a Feb. 3, 2003, interview with BBC/Granada’s Martin Bashir. The interview led to molestation charges; Jackson was acquitted in June 2005.

4. “I can only tell you that it has been an honor and a privilege to come into your homes all these years and entertain you ... I bid you a very heartfelt goodnight.”

— Johnny Carson, saying his final goodbye on The Tonight Show, May 22, 1992. The late-night legend died in January 2005.

5. “Well, I can wear heels now.”

— Nicole Kidman to David Letterman on Aug. 2, 2001, after her split from Tom Cruise. Both have since remarried, he to actress Katie Holmes, and she to country singer Keith Urban.

6. “In the end, you have to come clean and say, ‘I did something dishonorable, shabby and goatish.’.”

— Hugh Grant to Jay Leno on The Tonight Show, July 10, 1995, explaining his June arrest for lewd behavior with a Los Angeles prostitute. Grant pleaded no contest. Girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley stuck by him, but they split five years later. They remain friends.

7. “This town is a back-stabbing, scum-sucking, small-minded town, but thanks for the money.”

— Roseanne Barr, in an ad she took out in The Hollywood Reporter for the magazine’s 60th anniversary in October 1990, two years after her sitcom Roseanne launched. The show ran until ’97.

8. “I never wanted to be the lesbian actress. I never wanted to be the spokesperson for the gay community. Ever. I did it for my own truth.”

— Ellen DeGeneres in Time magazine, April 14, 1997, just before her Ellen sitcom character came out as gay, too.

9. “This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me ... And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened.”

— Halle Berry, at the 2002 Oscars, in her best-actress acceptance for Monster’s Ball. She’s the first black woman to win the category.

10. “The heart wants what it wants. There’s no logic to those things. You meet someone and you fall in love and that’s that.”

— Woody Allen in Time in 1992, about his relationship with Soon-Yi Previn, the daughter of former girlfriend Mia Farrow. Allen and Previn wed in ’97. The age gap: 35 years.

11. “Crack is cheap. I make too much money to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that straight. OK? We don’t do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is whack.”

— Whitney Houston in 2002 on ABC’s Primetime. Houston has since been through rehab several times, and last year split from husband Bobby Brown. She has been working on a new album.

12. “Retire? I’m going to stay in show business until I’m the only one left.”

— George Burns, at his 90th birthday tribute, George Burns 90th Birthday Special, taped Jan. 11, 1986. He died 10 years later.

13. “I’m too much of an erratic moody baby! I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

— Kurt Cobain’s suicide note from April 5, 1994. The lead singer of Nirvana was 27.

14. “Psychiatry is a pseudoscience. ... You don’t know the history of psychiatry. I do. ... Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, Matt, you don’t even — you’re glib. You don’t even know what Ritalin is.”

— Tom Cruise to Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today, June 24, 2005, one of several uninhibited expressions from the actor that summer.

15. “For an actor, there is no greater loss than the loss of his audience. I can part the Red Sea, but I can’t part with you, which is why I won’t exclude you from this stage in my life.”

— Charlton Heston on Aug. 9, 2002, revealing he has Alzheimer’s. Heston has not made a TV or film appearance since 2003.

16. “I’m in shock. And I’m so in love with my brother right now.”

— Angelina Jolie, thanking brother James Haven while accepting the supporting actress Oscar for 1999’s Girl, Interrupted. Since then she has become Brad Pitt’s companion and an upstanding citizen of the world.

17. “I am sorry if anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime of the Super Bowl. It was not intentional and is regrettable.”

— Justin Timberlake, in a statement after the 2004 Super Bowl spectacle with Janet Jackson. His career is booming, hers has faltered.

Rose M. Prouser, AFP/Getty
18. “And if they want to hear that I’m dead, sorry, folks. I’m not. And I don’t plan on it.”

— Elizabeth Taylor on Larry King Live, May 30, 2006, responding to rumors she was dying. She turned 75 in February.

19. “What are you looking at, sugar-___?”

— Mel Gibson, to female deputy last summer after being pulled over for speeding and drunken driving.

20. “That’s hot.”

— Paris Hilton’s trademark, dating back at least to the first season of The Simple Life in 2003. She eventually had the expression copyrighted.

21. The jury “was not my class of people. There was not a producer, a press agent, a director, an actor.”

— Zsa Zsa Gabor to People in October 1989, after a jury found her guilty of slapping a Beverly Hills cop.

22. “I just want one day off when I can go swimming and eat ice cream and look at rainbows.”

— Mariah Carey on MTV’s TRL in 2001, before entering rehab for exhaustion. Glitter bombed that fall, but in 2005 she put out a Grammy-winning hit album.

23. “The virginity issue. There are so many emotions involved that I would like to be able to wait until I know I’m with the right person and I’m married.”

— Britney Spears in a 2002 interview with Britain’s Daily Star. She’s now 25, has married twice, split up twice (one annulment, one divorce) and has two kids.

24. “These people are not parenting. They are buying things for their kids — $500 sneakers for what? And won’t spend $200 for Hooked on Phonics.”

— Bill Cosby, addressing a Washington, D.C., crowd in 2004.

25. “You only lie to two people in your life, your girlfriend and the police. Everybody else you tell the truth to.”

— Jack Nicholson in the April 1994 issue of Vanity Fair. He’s now 70, and no doubt it’s still his motto.

Source: Compiled and written by William Keck, Karen Thomas, Donna Freydkin, Andrea Mandell, Ann Oldenburg, Lorena Blas, Robyn Abzug and Susan O’Brian. Photo research by Kevin Eans, USA TODAY.

Interesting article that I found on CNN.com and thought I would share it.

As a side note, I highly recommend Broken English. Great film. Really, really liked it.

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Flicks from female directors are flooding today's theaters more than ever, and the movies are as diverse as the women themselves. Yet the struggle for equality, recognition and respect continues.

Moving beyond the traditional female arena of romantic comedies, these new films range from Kasi Lemmons' critical smash "Talk to Me," starring Don Cheadle as a sharp-tongued disc jockey, to the upcoming romance from hell "2 Days in Paris," the culmination of actress Julie Delpy's 20-year battle to reach the director's chair.

Despite the recent bumper crop of films, however, the statistics for female directors remain dismal.

Of the roughly 13,400 members of Directors Guild of America, only about 1,000, or 7 percent, are listed as female directors. (Total female membership, which includes people on the directing team like assistant directors and unit production managers, is about 3,000 or 22 percent.)

No woman has ever won an Academy Award for best director, and only three have ever been nominated: Lena Wertmuller for 1975's "Seven Beauties," Jane Campion for 1993's "The Piano" and Sofia Coppola for 2003's "Lost in Translation." A woman has never won the Directors Guild's top honor, either, though six have been nominated.

"It's discouraging. I think people get tired of hearing the same news," said Robin Swicord, a longtime screenwriter ("Little Women," "Memoirs of a Geisha") directing for the first time with "The Jane Austen Book Club," due out September 21.

"But it hasn't changed so much that we can quit talking about it," Swicord continued. "I wish we could, and I also wish we could make our movies without people saying, 'And she's a woman director.' Here's Julie Delpy doing this wonderful comedy and here's Judd Apatow doing his comedy and no one is saying, 'And he's a male director.' ... We may end up being referred to as 'women directors' for a long time."

This year has seen tremendous work from actress Sarah Polley, making her writing and directing debut at just 28 with the stirring Alzheimer's drama "Away From Her." Australian Cherie Nowlan gave us the family comedy "Introducing the Dwights," and Zoe Cassavetes followed in the footsteps of father John Cassavetes with her first feature, the indie "Broken English."

Shari Springer Berman co-directed the big-screen adaptation of "The Nanny Diaries" (out August 24) with her husband, Robert Pulcini. Helen Hunt's directorial debut, the romantic comedy "Then She Found Me," premieres at September's Toronto International Film Festival. Kirsten Sheridan's musical, "August Rush," is due October 19.

Next March marks the return of Kimberly Peirce with her first film since 1999's "Boys Don't Cry": "Stop Loss," about a soldier returning from the Iraq war, which was inspired by her brother. And, of course, Valerie Faris co-directed the small gem "Little Miss Sunshine," which was nominated for four Oscars and won two.

But one would think there would be even more progress by now, considering the great strides women have made in other professional arenas -- including studio leadership. (Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascal and DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider declined to be interviewed for this story; the pioneering former Paramount chief Sherry Lansing was traveling and unavailable.)

"Thirty-five years ago, the statistics were dismal in the executive ranks and now we've got women at the highest level of management at all the studios and all the networks," said Jane Fleming, president of the nonprofit Women in Film. "You've got to hope that the creative arts will follow in the next 35 years."

So why don't female studio executives look out for female filmmakers?

"I don't believe that women studio executives are deliberately not seeking out (female) talent," said Fleming, who also runs a production company. "They're all really busy -- they're doing the best they can. I think it's the job of organizations like Women in Film to get people's product in their hands, to have screenings, to get it out in the press that we've got young directors that we're supporting. It's about getting representation to fight harder for their clients."

Breaking the mold

Which brings us to the issue of the kinds of movies women have been expected to make. Mimi Leder is an anomaly for having directed the action movies "Deep Impact" and "The Peacemaker"; so is Kathryn Bigelow, who was behind "Point Break" and "K-19: The Widowmaker."

"Hollywood is still an old boys' club and boys are bullies. ... The ultimate symbol of the film industry is a man, Oscar, clutching a sword and standing on a reel of film because he's defending his turf," said Tom O'Neil, columnist for theenvelope.com Web site. "I think that says it all."

"Part of it is society's fault," he said. "When a man and a woman on a date decide to see a movie, the man is less likely to see 'Thelma & Louise' " (which, by the way, was directed a man, Ridley Scott).

"When the genders combine to go out to see a movie, the man still rules. It has to appeal to him. They will go see 'The Departed' but they won't go see 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants."'

Delpy says she fought for two decades to direct screenplays she'd written for thrillers or political dramas. Even an Oscar nomination for co-writing 2004's "Before Sunset" didn't help much. To get the money for "2 Days in Paris," she said she tricked her financiers into thinking she was making a romantic comedy about a French woman (herself) and an American man (Adam Goldberg).

"Which it's not," she says, laughing. "It's almost like a horror film on relationships. It's kind of a mean comedy and people say horrible things to one another.

"What's funny is, now people are trying to contact me to do movies," Delpy adds, "like, they're looking for a female director, and it's all about a relationship. You know what? I don't want to make a movie that they want a female director for. To me, first of all, it's condescending. What does that mean? Is it about breast feeding?"

In "Talk to Me," Cheadle plays Ralph Waldo "Petey" Greene Jr., an ex-con who served as the voice for urban blacks during the tumultuous 1960s. The movie contains rioting, explosions and a whole lot of sex and rough language.

Clearly, Lemmons ("Eve's Bayou") has made the furthest thing possible from a quote-unquote chick flick.

"It feels very, very me," she says of the material with a laugh. "It really does. I had one second of self-consciousness before my first meeting to go in as the director -- one moment of like, 'OK, I'm a woman, I know I have to convince them that I'm capable of directing a movie like this, or that I'm the right person.' And it was not just being a woman, it was based on my past work -- like, 'Am I versatile enough to do a piece like this?' "

Juggling work, family

Berman has directed a variety of films with her husband, whom she met at Columbia University film school, including the documentary "Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's" and the inventive biopic "American Splendor." She finds that she and Pulcini approach their work differently, though not in traditional gender roles.

"I'm a little bit more of a fighter. He's a quieter person. I'm actually more of the pit bull, which is not what you'd expect from the woman and the man. You can ask anyone who works with us -- Bob shies from conflict more and I kind of go right at it. Bob is very visually inclined. He likes to spend a lot of time with the cameras, and I like to spend a lot of time with the actors. Maybe discussing feelings or emotions might be more of a female-oriented thing.

"I do find that we get treated differently by the crew," she added. "People have a hard time seeing me as the director if Bob is around. There's always a little bit of, they go to him. It's a fight sometimes to be taken seriously as a director."

Having adopted a son after finishing "The Nanny Diaries," Berman is also about to find herself in the tricky position so many female professionals do: juggling family with work. "Friends With Money" writer-director Nicole Holofcener works steadily, but if there's a gap between her movies, she says, it's because she wants the time to take her 9-year-old twin sons to school. And Sheridan, already the mother of a 4-year-old daughter while making "August Rush," recently gave birth to a son.

"There definitely aren't (many female directors). I think a huge part of that is family, you know, and just how tough it can be on family," said Sheridan, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing 2002's "In America" with her sister and their father, veteran director Jim Sheridan. "I guess you get that in everything, it's part of whatever job you might have, but I think particularly in film because it's just a machine that is unstoppable.

"I'm kind of hoping that I can get to the point where I'm in enough control that I can call the shots a little bit more with how it all works," she added. "Having kids on set, having daycare on set -- I'd love to do that for other women in the crew as much as myself."

Just getting that first gig, though, can be hard enough. Women in Film hopes to boost the number of new directors by offering scholarships to students and funds to help women finish their films. They also match up aspiring directors with writers and crews to shoot public service announcements for charities that deal with women's issues.

"I wish that there was a secret. I wish I could say to someone what to do," Holofcener said. "I guess I wrote about what was important to me. I kept it personal. I kept it simple. I didn't try to fit into any kind of mode -- 'I'll write a genre, I'll write action.' I didn't have to do that.

"Ultimately the one I tried hardest with was 'Walking and Talking (1996).' That wasn't a compromise in terms of, I just have to get my foot in. Maybe that helps -- if you're driven by the need to tell something that's important to you, maybe that makes you ridiculously driven."

Indie to the big screen

Going to film school also helps, said Peirce, a Columbia grad like Holofcener and Berman. So does starting out in the indie world, where you can get your hands on every element of the process. "Boys Don't Cry" cost $1.7 million to make, whereas "Stop Loss," a Paramount release, had a budget of more than $30 million.

"Studio people tell me that they need indie directors to make studio movies so they know they can count on them -- that when they start pushing hard against them, they're not going to crash," Peirce said. "It's getting women into the system. Women are making indie movies that are wonderful and if they can keep doing that, that's great. But if they can cross over and can take on a project they can handle ... just to have done one studio movie will open up a whole lot of opportunities for them."

The rare example of a woman operating at the highest echelons of the studio system is Nancy Meyers, whose films "The Holiday," "Something's Gotta Give" and "What Women Want" have grossed hundreds of millions of dollars.

Meyers makes smart, glossy romantic comedies. The question is, though, are women drawn to other kinds of material that can translate into big box office and prestigious prizes? Many say they're interested in telling more intimate, character-driven stories -- though Delpy says she'd love to do a huge sci-fi film. And as awards expert O'Neil points out, testosterone-fueled movies like "The Departed," "Braveheart" and "Dances With Wolves" win Oscars.

Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said there's no good answer why the directors' branch of the academy -- which chooses the nominees for best director and is about 6 percent female -- has only nominated three women. But he ventured that a combination of two factors could be at work: Financiers may feel reluctant to back a woman as the director of a large-scale movie, and women generally may not be interested in such material.

"Would a woman have made 'The Departed'? Maybe that's the next goal," said Ganis, a longtime producer and former studio executive. "Maybe women directors will be seen as able to do 'Terminator 5,' or some major action movie. Maybe that is breaking the next stereotype model."

Delpy had the same idea in mind -- she just phrased it a little differently.

"A woman has to make a bunch of blockbusters, one after another," she said, "and shut everyone's mouth."

Quotes, quotes, quotes...

Below are some great quotes that I have compiled over time...thought I would share...

"What you've accomplished in life is not half as important as who you've touched," he continued. "That's the feeling you get when you see one of the episodes I've worked on—just the human condition, how difficult it is sometimes to be alive and how wonderful, and how we're all alone but we're all in it together." - Greg Berlanti, writer

When you lose somebody, you think you've lost the whole world as well, but that's not the way things turn out in the end. Eventually, you pick yourself up and look out the window and once you do, you see everything that was there before the world ended is out there still. These are the same apple trees and the same song birds, and over our head, the very same sky that shines like heaven, so far above us that we can never hope to reach such heights. - Unknown

I'm definitely not flawless; I trip over air; I tend to not do what everyone else is doing; my room's a mess; and I have some complicated issues. But those little flaws make me, me. I swear that's why you're going to love me. - Unknown

Don't get too comfortable with you who are at any given time. You may miss the oppurtunity to become who you want to be. -Jon Bon Jovi

Dreams aren't perfect. They come true, not free. -Dawson's creek

Life's tough. Get a helmet. -Boy Meets World

Sometimes people play hard to get because they need to know if the other person's feelings are real. -One Tree Hill

But I guess it's always been that way, wanting to be loved; to find someone that makes your heart ache in a good way. -One Tree Hill

What if we already met the right person,but weren't ready to fall in love? - unknown

No matter how serious life gets you've got to make sure you've got at least one you can be stupid with. - unknown person

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." -Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful." -Joshua J. Marine

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don't mind, and those that mind, don't matter." -Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars." -Les Brown

"The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become." -Harold Taylor

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -Mark Twain

"Assumptions allow the best in life to pass you by." -John Sales

"No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit." -Helen Keller

Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it. Believing a solution paves the way to solution. -Dr. David Schwartz

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." -Maya Angelou

"Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking." -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

"Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where he is had to begin where he was." -Richard L. Evans

"Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right." -Henry Ford

If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience. -Edward Rickenbacker

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." -Henry David Thoreau

You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life. This is not an easy struggle. Indeed, it may be the most difficult task in the world, for opening the door to your own life is, in the end, more difficult than opening the doors to the mysteries of the universe. -Daisaku Ikeda

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." -Joseph Chilton

You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life. This is not an easy struggle. Indeed, it may be the most difficult task in the world, for opening the door to your own life is, in the end, more difficult than opening the doors to the mysteries of the universe. -Daisaku Ikeda

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong." -Joseph Chilton Pearce

"Complaining about something without taking any action to correct it is irresponsible. If a condition deserves criticism, it deserves an honest attempt to change it." -John Renesch

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

"If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable." -Seneca (Seneca the Elder)

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." -Eleanor Roosevelt

"We must nurture our dreams like we would a child. They are God-given and just as precious. Without ambition how would a child learn to ride a bicycle, play an instrument or whistle? We deny the spirit of God when we as adults settle for less than our dreams!" -Conway Stone

"Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -Will Rogers

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." –Aristotle

"I want to be remembered as the girl who always smiles even when her heart is broken. And the one that could always brighten up your day even if she couldnt brighten her own." –Anon

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead." -Louisa May Alcott

"People go to casinos for the same reason they go on blind dates: hoping to hit the jackpot. But mostly, you just wind up broke or alone in a bar." --Carrie

If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.-- William Hazlitt

A mind too active is no mind at all.-- Theodore Roethke

To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.
-- J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone,

The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody
else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self.
-- Whitney Young


Five friends every woman should have

(OPRAH.com) -- "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves," writer Edna Buchanan once said.

I consider the "family" I've gathered -- with five kinds of pals I count on for completely different things -- among the wisest choices I've made. If you can find even one who embodies any of the characteristics that follow, you can consider yourself fortunate.

The Uplifter: This woman's favorite word: yes. You could tell her you're trading your six-figure income for a career in offtrack betting, and she'd barely pause before yelping "Go for it!" Don't you need someone who looks past the love handles to notice the extraordinarily gorgeous you?

The Travel Buddy: When the hotel in St. Lucia is a bust, one characteristic becomes all-important: flexibility. This agreeable companion need not be the girl you traded pinkie swears with on the playground; it's enough that she's comfortable with quiet (between gabfests) and is a teensy bit mischievous (as in tequila after midnight).

The Truth Teller: Intent is what separates the constructive from the abusive. Once you've established that the hard news is spoken in love (not in jealousy or malice), you'd be smart to seek out this woman's perspective.

The Girl Who Just Wants to Have Fun: One Saturday a pal and I -- and yes, we're both over age 12 -- pored over every glitter lip gloss in a drugstore aisle for an entire 45 minutes. Forget the crisis download (for that, see the Uplifter); this partnership is about spontaneous good times.

The Unlikely Friend: "Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive," Anaïs Nin wrote. My friends -- some twice my age, others half, some rich, others homeless, some black like me, others Korean, Mexican, Caucasian -- have added richness to my life that only variety can bring.

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TM & © 2007 Harpo Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


2007 Waterfront Film Festival

This past weekend I attended the ninth annual Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck, MI. This is the second year in a row that I went with my friend Kellie and we were able to see some great shorts, full length features and documentaries. There is such amazing talent out there and this was a great showcase to see films that don't have huge distribution deals from major studios.

The first film we saw was the Midwest premier of Chapter 27.

Canada, 84 mins, Color (Violence, Adult Content, Language)


Director/Screenwriter: J.P. Schaefer
Producers: Naomi Despres, Alexandra Milchan, Robert Salerno
Cinematographer: Tom Richmond
Editors: Andrew Hafitz, Jim Makiej
Cast: Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan, Molly Griffith, Ursula Abbot, Judah Friedlander


It is a date with destiny that will forever be etched on the tragic history of music. On December 8, 1980, loner Mark Chapman shot John Lennon five times outside The Dakota, the New York apartment Lennon shared with wife Yoko Ono and son Sean.

What went on in the mind of the man who felt compelled to assassinate John Lennon? Chapter 27 deftly pilots us into the dark psyche of Mark David Chapman the weekend before the December 8, 1980, shooting. Inspired by Chapman's recollections, and propelled by a haunting, tour-de-force performance from Jared Leto, the film unravels the web of literary associations and cultural signs through which Chapman processes the world as he releases his grip on reality.

Fresh from Hawaii, Chapman spends the better part of three days posing as an autograph seeker at the Dakota, Lennon's abode. As he hovers in the wintry cold, striking up oddly charged conversations with a devoted fan, Chapman's narration reveals that he is self-consciously, almost spiritually, ingesting his prophetic holy book, The Catcher in the Rye. Whipping himself into a twisted incarnation of Holden Caulfield, he adopts Holden's speech patterns, hires a prostitute, and spots phonies everywhere. In his spiral into mental collapse, he even seems to be following in Holden's footsteps. At the height of his derangement, this merging becomes so complete that he yearns to disappear into J.D. Salinger's pages. In a brilliant mimetic move, the film also converges with the book, structuring itself as a first-person stream of consciousness related from the future.

Neither celebrating nor sensationalizing, Chapter 27 explores a figure whose psychological mechanisms we can interpret but never fully penetrate, raising the question, can we ever really know another person's interior experience?

Caroline Libresco, Courtesy of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival

The second film that we saw was American Fork.


USA, 94 mins, Color


Director: Chris Bowman
Screenwriters: Hubbel Palmer
Producers: Derek Beumer, Maya Browne, Jeremy Coon, Shannon Gardner
Cinematographer: Doug Chamerlain
Editor: Cary Gries
Cast: Hubbel Palmer, William Baldwin, Kathleen Quinlan, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Vincent Caso

Website www.americanforkmovie.com


Tracy Orbison (Hubbel Palmer) works a dead-end job as a grocery store clerk in a drab slice of strip-mall America but believes he’s found a way out when the acting bug bites. He falls under the spell of Z-list actor Truman Hope (William Baldwin), only to become disillusioned after glimpsing Hope’s true character. A friendship with bagboy Kendis Cooley (Vincent Caso) leads to Tracy’s next project: reforming a gang of surly, teenaged deadbeats. But again, Tracy’s efforts fall short of his fantasies. Tracy’s home life offers little solace, with Agnes, his God-fearing, self-loathing mother (Academy Award nominee Kathleen Quinlan), ruling the roost and sister Peggy (Mary Lynn Rajskub) looking for someone to love. Through it all, Tracy struggles to pass his driver’s license exam, lose “about ten pounds” and win fame beyond his working-class job.

The last film we saw on Friday night was Blue State.

USA, 2007, 90 mins, Color (Language)


Writer & Director: Marshall Lewy
Producer: Kyle Irving, Andrew Paquin
Executive Producer: Anna Paquin, Kevin Richardson, Nathaniel Salter, Vince Vannelli
Original Music: Nathan Johnson
Cinematographer: Phil Parmet
Editor: Adam B. Stein
Casting Director: Jim Heber
Production Designers: Ricardo Alms, Deanne Rohde
Cast: Breckin Meyer, Anna Paquin

Website www.bluestatemovie.com


On the eve of the 2004 elections, Democratic political activist John Logue (Breckin Meyer) makes a drunken promise captured by a local news station in Ohio, where he's been campaigning for candidate John Kerry: he will move to Canada if George W. Bush gets re-elected. Once the results are in, a devastated Logue returns to San Francisco to find that his old life has slipped away and his friends are goading him to follow through on his pledge. When he gets a call from Marry-a- Canadian; an organization that is “rescuing” liberals from four more years of George W. Bush, he places an ad for a road trip partner and meets the mysterious Chloe (Anna Paquin). As they set off on the open highway, it soon becomes clear that Chloe is running from her own set of problems - ones that will challenge each of their political and moral ideals.

With thoughtful reflections on responsibility, living up to what you believe in, and the meaning of commitment, this youthful, smart film will resonate more deeply than a romantic comedy. Meyer and Paquin deliver fine, nuanced performances.

excerpt by Katharine P. Jose, Courtesy of 2007 Tribeca Film Festival

On the second day of the festival, we went to a panel presentation that consisted of directors and producers who had movies in the festival and they talked about the production of their films.

We then went to see Eagle Vs. Shark.


New Zealand, 87 mins, Color (Sexual Content, Violence, Adult Content, Language)

Director/Screenwriter: Taika Waititi
Producers: Cliff Curtis, Ainsley Gardiner
Editor: Jonathan Woodford- Robinson
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Craig Hall, Loren Horsley, Rachel House, Brian Sergent


Which is the more dangerous predator: an eagle or a shark? That's a trick question. Don't try to answer it. You'll have your own opinion by the end of Taika Waititi's deliciously tangy, deadpan feature debut about two colorful misfits thrown into each other's orbit.

Lily is one of those weird, sweet-natured girls with stringy hair who is quite lovely and charismatic under a surface of shy awkwardness. But most people don't have enough vision to notice, and the truth is that Lily isn't looking to change. She cashiers at a fast-food joint and pines for Jarrod, the self-aggrandizing, clueless geek from the computer store across the way. Fiercely optimistic, Lily crashes Jarrod's animal/video-game extravaganza, impressing him enough with her shark suit and gaming prowess to score a hookup with Eagle Lord (Jarrod) himself. Soon Lily and her brother are driving Jarrod back to his hometown to confront his childhood nemesis. But here Jarrod's self-absorption blossoms so mightily that it may drive even the most adoring of girlfriends away. As Jarrod prepares to exact his revenge on the past, Lily's quiet power gathers force as well. With so much subtlety and precision in Loren Horsley and Jemaine Clement's straight-faced, oddball performances, Lily and Jarrod's attempts to reach each other are hilarious and excruciatingly real. – excerpt by Caroline Libresco, Courtesy of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival

The last film we saw was a documentary that was directed and produced by a local Michigan film maker called Little Thumb.


2007, 77 mins, Color (Adult Content)


Director/Producer: Chad Kremer
Assistant Producers: Andrew Gibbs, Jessica Wijbenga, Jon Den Houter
Cinematographer: Chad Kremer, Mathhew Fox
Editor: Chad Kremer
Graphic Designer: Andrew Gibbs
Cast: Tena Wybenga, Jack Wybenga, Nick Wybenga, Florence Kremer, Marianne Bierri, Chad Kremer

The idea that even the most ordinary person can have an extraordinary impression on others is the central theme of Chad Kremer's first film Little Thumb. This documentary looks at the life of Frank Wybenga, a Dutch immigrant who in the mid 1950's escaped his dark past at a Nazi concentration camp by moving to the United States with his wife and infant son. In 2006, seven years after his death, Frank's eldest son and grandson journey back to the Netherlands to honor Frank's memory by revisiting his past, all while trying to bring some closure to their own.

The Year I Was Born...

In 1978 (the year you were born)

Jimmy Carter is president of the US

US Senate votes to turn over the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, 1999

Israel and Egypt reach a peace settlement at the Camp David Accords

The US and mainland China announce that they will restore full diplomatic relations

Members of Jim Jones' People's Temple commit mass suicide in Guyana

Pope John Paul II becomes the first non-Italian pope in centuries

Ted Bundy is captured in Florida

The first computer bulletin board system is created

Garfield debuts in newspapers

Ashton Kutcher, Kobe Bryant, Usher, Clay Aiken, and Nelly Furtado are born

New York Yankees win the World Series

Dallas Cowboys win Superbowl XII

Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup

Saturday Night Fever and Grease are the top grossing films

"Night Fever" by the Bee Gees spends the most time at the top of the US charts

Diff'rent Strokes and Mork & Mindy premiere

The music of my 18th year...

Go to www.popCulturemadness.com and select the year you became 18. Paste the list of the top 75 songs. Bold the ones you liked; strike the ones you disliked; and italicize the ones you know but don't exactly like nor dislike. The ones you don't know will stay common text.

1996 Greatest Hits

1. Grease Megamix - Olivia Newton John & John Travolta
2. Macarena - Los Del Rio
3. Maria - Ricky Martin
4. California Love - 2Pac
5. Because You Loved Me - Celine Dion
6. I Believe I Can Fly - R. Kelly
7. I Finally Found Someone - Barbra Streisand & Bryan Adams
8. Be My Lover - La Bouche
9. Champagne Supernova - Oasis
10. Sweet Dreams - La Bouche
11. Who Will Save Your Soul - Jewel
12. Missing - Everything But The Girl
13. Ready To Go - Republica
14. I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan
15. Last Night - Az Yet
16. Tha Crossroads - Bone thugs-n-harmony
17. Stayin' Alive - N-Trance
18. Only You - 112
19. (Party Time) You'll Be Mine - Gloria Estefan
20. Wonderwall - Oasis
21. Killing Me Softly - Fugees
22. Betcha By Golly Wow - Prince
23. Get Together - Big Mountain
24. Daughter - Pearl Jam
25. Satellite - Dave Matthews Band
26. Name - Goo Goo Dolls
27. No Diggity - BLACKstreet
28. Set U Free - Planet Soul
29. Just A Girl - No Doubt
30. My Maria - Brooks & Dunn
31. Breakfast At Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something
32. Head Over Feet - Alanis Morissette

33. Ain't Nobody - Faith Evans
34. Jealousy - Natalie Merchant
35. I Remember - Boyz II Men
36. Wonder - Natalie Merchant
37. Aeroplane - Red Hot Chili Peppers
38. Un-Break My Heart - Toni Braxton
39. What I Got - Sublime
40. Don't Speak - No Doubt
41. C'Mon Ride The Train - Quad City DJ's
42. The World I Know - Collective Soul
43. That Girl - Maxi Priest
44. One Of Us - Joan Osborne
45. Closer To Free - BoDeans
46. Where It's At - Beck
47. Change The World - Eric Clapton
48. Blue - LeAnn Rimes
49. Spiderwebs - No Doubt
50. Too Much - Dave Matthews Band
51. Forever - Mariah Carey
52. Don't Look Back In Anger - Oasis
53. Stupid Girl - Garbage
54. Oh Virginia - Blessid Union Of Souls
55. Ironic - Alanis Morissette
56. Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
57. Reach - Gloria Estefan
58. Caught A Lite Sneeze - Tori Amos
59. 1,2,3,4 (Sumpin New) - Coolio
60. Heartspeak Dollarsign - Everclear
61. 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
62. Pepper - Butthole Surfers
63. DJ Girl - Katalina
64. I Love You Always Forever - Donna Lewis
65. Always Be My Baby - Mariah Carey
66. No Woman No Cry - Fugees
67. Flood - Jars Of Clay
68. The Distance - Cake
69. Old Man and Me - Hootie and the Blowfish
70. So Much To Say - Dave Matthews Band
71. Time - Hootie and the Blowfish
72. Whoever You Are - Geggy Tah
73. Tonight, Tonight - Smashing Pumpkins
74. You Learn - Alanis Morissette
75. Counting Blue Cars -Dishwalla



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